Innovative solutions for social problems


Social Innovation and Social Entrepreneurship Initiative (SISEI)

Our financing instruments are used to finance SISEIs.

Under Portugal Social Innovation, an SISEI is a project aimed at implementing or developing an innovative solution for one or more social problems. In other words, it is a project that aims at intervening in one or several social problems in an innovative and effective manner to generate positive social impact. An SISEI, as a social innovation project, should always seek to solve or alleviate a social problem, by encouraging change in living conditions, lifestyles or life opportunities with a potential universal reach.

A project must meet at least three requirements to be considered an SISEI:

1. An existing social problem

Is there an identifiable target group, with a specific vulnerability (current or potential)?

An SISEI implies that it is possible to identify who the project is for, be they a social group with clear boundaries or a group of citizens who have the same living conditions or circumstances. Moreover, the people who are part of this target group should have two or more current or potential vulnerabilities.

For example: school-age children who are not integrated in the educational system, senior citizens who are isolated, families at risk of poverty, people with disabilities who are excluded from the workplace, institutionalised children, young people at risk of marginalisation, skills gap among citizens.

2. A differentiating solution

Does the project offer a solution that is different from traditional responses?
An SISEI implies that the proposed solution to address the social problem is different from existing traditional responses, in particular those promoted or procured by the Government, and that said differentiation is driven by an innovative product, service or methodology.

For example: implementation of a completely innovative solution, implementation of an already existing differentiated solution in other territories, implementation in the same territory of a differentiated solution already tested at small-scale.

3. A project with a social impact

Does the project have the potential to positively impact the quality of life or development opportunities of the people who are part of the target group?
An SISEI implies that the intervention will improve the current or future well-being of the people for whom the project is intended.

For example: innovative intervention for the social integration of people with disabilities, innovative intervention for the development of skills that increase the changes of employability or school success, innovative intervention to monitor the well-being of isolated senior citizens.